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Cholera fears as 59 police officers taken ill

Sunday September 3 2017


Nairobi County health executive Bernard Muia speaks at a press briefing on the cholera outbreak on July 15, 2017. He has said that police officers have been admitted to hospital with cholera symptoms. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A total of 59 police officers have been admitted to various hospitals with cholera-like symptoms.

Forty-five out of 430 officers deployed to Nairobi ahead of the Supreme Court ruling on Friday were infected. They were residing at the Multimedia University Hotel in Rongai.

Twelve others are at Kenyatta Hospital and two at Nairobi West Hospital.

Nairobi County Executive for Health Bernard Muia said 25 officers were admitted to the Sinai Hospital in Rongai and 20 to the  Nairobi Women’s Hospital, Rongai branch, but are in stable condition.

“They are recuperating well. I have visited those at Sinai Hospital and the Nairobi Women’s Hospital,” said Dr Muia.

Speaking to the Nation at the Multimedia University, the Nairobi County head of Disease Surveillance, Dr Ralph Muli, said the officers seem to have taken meals at the Nairobi area Police Canteen.


“Those infected did not get the disease from the Multimedia University since they had their lunch away from the institution. Investigations show that the source is the Nairobi area police Canteen. The team admitted to KNH seems to have also taken meals at the canteen,” said Dr Muli.

Dr Muli, however, said they are still conducting investigations to confirm whether the disease is cholera. He said most of the symptoms point to cholera.

He added that since the outbreak of cholera in May, the city has reported 56 cases, which are being handled.

Prof Paul Mbatia, Multimedia University deputy vice-chancellor, Academic Affairs, Research and Innovation, said the officers stayed at the facility for four days and were provided with only breakfast and dinner as they were out for official duties during the day.


Prof Mbatia said since the arrangement did not include lunch, it means they had it elsewhere.

He added that the first case was reported on Saturday around 5pm at the institution’s clinic. More cases were reported later.

“We had an arrangement for the officers to have breakfast and dinner only since they are not stay-in visitors due to the nature of their jobs. They had lunch elsewhere,” said Prof Mbatia.

He said they invited experts from the Health Department to inspect the facility, which has been given a clean bill of health.

Mr Mbatia said the source of water for the hotel and school is a borehole.


He allayed fears that the disease could spread to the students, saying they did not eat at the hotel.

Although lorries full of police officers drove in and dropped more officers at the Sinai Hospital, administrator Paul Dullo said medical workers were just carrying out tests on them.

Mr Dullo said the institution had admitted 25 police officers since yesterday with symptoms that include fever, diarrhoea and vomiting.

In a statement, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko said rapid diagnostic tests for cholera had been done on 10 officers and found positive and all of them are in hospital, quarantined.